Dr. John O’Keefe welcome Dr. Doug Brothwell, the new Dean of the College of Dentistry at the University of Saskatchewan. Dr. Brothwell shared the advice he received from his colleagues and the previous Dean. He also spoke about his vision for the deanship position and his goals for the coming years.
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Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager
As Dr. Brothwell contemplated applying for and accepting the position, he sought the sage advice of a few close colleagues and friends who advised him about the following:
- Not to underestimate the amount of time it takes to perform the role of Dean and to find an appropriate work-life balance.
- the decision-making process does not have to be the sole responsibility of the dean, as several experts can be consulted within and external to the college and university.
Dr. Brothwell returns “home” to the University of Saskatchewan and while the health sciences center has had a new modern face-lift, the dental school looks very familiar right down to the clinical unit where he sat as a student. Fortunately, dental school training has evolved and is now graduating strong dental professionals. Nowadays, dental students sit and learn alongside their medical, nursing and pharmacy colleagues. As such, they find common ground, learn common terminology and foster camaraderie and respect with one another.
In his first term at the University of Saskatchewan, Dean Brothwell and his team have outlined two strategic priorities:
- “Indigenization” – integration of all aspects of indigenous peoples, such that the university is meeting the needs of the indigenous population in ways that it did not do before – inclusion of aboriginal students/faculty.
- New research focus – reorientation of some optional resources towards newer research projects.
Dean Brothwell has 2 calls-to-action for the dentists and organized dentistry in Canada:
- More support for dental education is desperately required; and dental schools must be viewed as part of the infrastructure of Canadian dentistry. Financial and volunteer support is essential for dental schools and dental students.
- In an ideal world, Canadian dentists should work towards giving back to the 20-30% of Canadians that still lack dental care or access to care. Canadian dentistry must work to set up the systems to enable the provision of this care.
As part of his personal vision, Dr Brothwell is looking to develop a College of Dentistry that has the right staff and faculty that work in an enjoyable environment with a strong reputation within and outside Canada. His vision is to ensure the entire college is aligned to work towards common goals. He would like to foster innovation and nimbleness in his team to achieve this vision.
Full Conversation (32.08″)